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How French parties and politicians are funded

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-07-07

There are strict rules as to how French political parties are funded, relating to both private donors, party members, businesses and the state. Here is France24's guide:

Private funding:

Political parties may not receive more than 7,500 euros a year from individuals and any contribution greater than 152 euros must be made by cheque.

The principal source of contributions, however, is from the regular payments made by party members, which in 2008 was equal to 35% on average across all political parties.

During an election, political candidates can draw on these funds and are allowed to receive a further 4,600 euros per year per individual contributor.


Businesses have forbidden from making party donations since 1995. The change in the law sought to redress excessive payments from companies who could be seen to have special interests in election outcomes.

This rule does not stop business owners from making personal contributions.

The state:

Every year political parties receive state grants based on two factors, called “fractions”.

The first “fraction” depends on the proportion of the vote won by a party in the last round of parliamentary elections.

The second is calculated by the actual number of seats the party wins in parliament

This funding represents 40% of party funds across the board.

In 2007, 50 parties received a total of 70 million euros between them.

In a presidential election, the state reimburses 20% of campaign costs to all parties.

Should the parties gain more than 5% of the total vote, they are rebated 50% of their costs.

In the 2007 elections, this funding totalled 16 million euros in the first round and 21.5 million euros for the two “finalists” (President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP and the Socialist Party of Segolene Royal).


Date created : 2010-07-06


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